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DeckerWright Corporation Blog

DeckerWright Corporation has been serving the Red Bank area since 1984, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Ransom-ware – Part 4; Prevention

There is no silver bullet that is going to protect a computer from getting hit with malware like ransom-ware.   There is no substitute for being suspicious of every e-mail and every web site.  If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.  Never open a link in an e-mail or visit an untrusted web site.  Have a physically separate firewall that is running threat management software, like a SonicWall, to look for threats before they can touch your computer.  Have current anti-virus software, like Symantec, with current virus definition files.  Use a cloud based spam filter service, like TnT’s SpamSoap, to catch suspicious e-mails before they reach your computer.  Make sure your computer is currently patched to close security holes.  Leave as many security controls active as you can stand to block malicious software from running.   Follow all of these tips and the risk of getting ransom-ware will be greatly reduced.
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Ransomware – Part 3; The fix

After being hit with Ransomware our research documents that there are only two ways to get a company’s data back online.  

One way is to pay the ransom to get the encryption key.  Not recommended.

The second method it to restore the newly encrypted data from a backup.  If you don’t have a backup, the only option would be pay the ransom and keep your fingers crossed. 

The local firm that was affected had good backups, so they were able to recover their data from backups.  That combined with a vigorous malware removal effort got the business up and running; after two days of lost business time.  The final part of this series talks about how to defend against and prepare for a malware attack.
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Guest — Ransomware  Part 2; How it happened | Marshall Wright
[&] Next week’s blog will detail what happened next  the fix. [&]
Friday, 22 November 2013 19:15
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Ransomware - Part 2; How it happened

A local business reported to us last week that they had been hit with a Ransomware malware attack. How did it happen?

The malware was spread on the network by an employee opening what appeared to be a valid attachment on a banking e-mail.  Once launched, the virus searched out network shares and encrypted all of the data it found on the shares.  After completing the encryption, the Ransomware popped up a window requesting a payment equal to $300 times the number of computers it found on the network.  Simply enter a credit card for the right amount, and the Ransomware attacker would provide the encryption key.

Next week’s blog will detail what happened next - the fix.

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Guest — Ransom-ware  The latest twist on malware « Marshall Wright
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Friday, 08 November 2013 14:17
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Ransom-ware - The latest twist on malware

We have just become aware of a new type of malware.  We are referring to it as “ransom-ware”.

Once the malware infects the computer, it encrypts all of the data on the hard drive.  A pop-up message requests money for the encryption key.  Effectively the computer is un-usable at this point.  If you remove the virus, you also remove the encryption key effectively making the data on the computer useless.  The ONLY solution is to restore the system from a backup after the virus has been removed.   If you have a full image back (like those included with DWC’s BDR solutions), you can do a complete recovery, OS, applications, data and all.  The reported transport for this virus is via e-mail.  Beware!

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Guest — Ransomware  Part 2; How it happened « Marshall Wright
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Malware causes HIPAA and PCI Breaches

Malware and viruses have become a major source of breaches as defined by HIPAA and PCI requirements. A single employee's computer that has an infection could be feeding sensitive data to criminals. Click here to read an article discussing the threats and regulations.
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